SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
What is Social Communications?
Social Communications is the Commission responsible for the promotion of the Church’s mission of evangelization through the Media. It is the church’s instrument for advocacy and public relations. This Commission has the mandate of researching, covering/recording, documentation, publication, packaging and distribution of church-society related information. Social Communications derives from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in Rome. The Pastoral Instruction on the means of Social Communication, Communio et Progressio, 29 January 1971 states that: “If public opinion is to be properly formed, it is necessary that, right from the start, the public be given free access to both the sources and the channels of information and be allowed freely to express its own vies. Modern man cannot do without information that is full, consistent, accurate and true.” Thus Social Communications provides a platform for formation through information.
The main aim for Social Communications is to evangelize through the media. It is responsible for research, publications and marketing of church products. The commission is divided into print and electronic media. The print media has to do with research, designing, production and packaging of all print work that is produced by the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference such as pastoral documents. These include:
- Pastoral letters
- Catholic newspaper – The Catholic Church News
- Pamphlets etc
The electronic media captures all events happening within the church and publishes them in electronic format that all Christians may benefit as a result of their interaction with church media. The electronic media is responsible for audio/visual productions in form of audio-visual CDs and DVDs. These productions inspire people’s lives and faith. The electronic media is also responsible for updating media sites/website for ZCBC and other social sites for the commission.
How does Social Communications work:
Social Communications also known as SOCCOM is led by the National Coordinator who has the mandate of coordinating communications work at national level. The Coordinator animates Diocesan Communications offices in Zimbabwe’s eight Catholic dioceses of:
- Archdiocese of Harare
- Archdiocese of Bulawayo
- Diocese of Mutare
- Diocese of Masvingo
- Diocese of Hwange
- Diocese of Gweru
- Diocese of Gokwe
- Diocese of Chinhoyi
At diocese level the Social Communication Commission is led by Diocesan Coordinators who are appointed by the local ordinaries. These coordinators coordinate communication activities in their respective dioceses. They develop communication strategies suitable for their local church.
SOCCOM Major Responsibilities:
- Publication of Catholic Church News
- Coverage and recording of all church events and developments
- Enhance communication within the church and develop communication strategies that aid to the work of evangelization.
- Promote the church’s work and its involvement with society through communication.
- Promote the work of other ZCBC Commissions like Health, Education, Pontifical Mission Societies, Biblical Pastoral Ministry, Parliamentary Liaison Office, Marriage
- Tribunal, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, Caritas and the Pastoral Center.
- Animating Communication within dioceses and help establish diocesan communication structures.
- Documentation of all church-society related activities.
- Networking with public and private media and encourage positive coverage of the church by state and private media.
- Network with other international Catholic media organization like SIGNIS, CAMECO and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
- Further the church’s mission of evangelization through the media framework.
- Create a platform for sharing information, faith, ideas and beliefs.
Celebrating Social Communications Sunday in Zimbabwe September 2016